Irish Seattle News
Déardaoin, 14 Iúil     2016    Thursday, July 14
In This Issue
Christopher Charles, 82, a native of Co. Leitrim and brother of Mary Charles of Edmonds, died July 11 in Baltimore, MD 

Margaret Ryan who died in Ireland July 10, was the mother of Seattle's Joseph Ryan 

Finian Rowland, 89, a native of Co. Mayo who came to Seattle in 1950, and who was Honorary Grand Marshal of Seattle's 1987 St. Patrick's Day Parade, died in Seattle June 25 

John McPolin, a brother of Cathryn Quinn of Edmonds, died in Ireland on June 20 OBIT
  (click SORT BY NEWEST)

Nora Matava, 91, a native of Co. Cork, died in Bellevue on June 11 

Eileen Kilgren-Bergman, 69, the longtime manager of the Galway Traders Irish import store, died suddenly in Seattle on June 4, just a month after the store closed.

Micheál O'Rourke, 62, a native of Carlingford, Co. Louth, died in Seattle on May 26 

Michael O'Sullivan, 74, who previously operated the Wee Bit O'Ireland store in Pioneer Square and served as Honorary Grand Marshal of Seattle's St. Patrick's Day Parade in 1997, died near Port Orchard on May 4

Joe McAleese, 83, who in 1983 founded Kells at Seattle's Pike Market, died in Ireland on May 15 

Sean Boyle, 66, the brother of Seattle residents Kay Mc Kenna, Maura Barnes, Liam Boyle and Chris Boyle, died May 8 in Belfast. 

Murdock MacPherson, 94, died in Seattle on April 24. Founder of Irish Day at the Races at Emerald Downs, Murdock served as Grand Marshal of Seattle's St. Patrick's Day Parade in 1997 

Margaret Ingram, 91, a native of Belfast, died in Everett on April 27 

Sr. Marie Linehan, 84, a native of Co. Cork and a Sister of St. Francis for 65 years, died in Tacoma on April 19 

Sr. Margaret Mary Magorrian, 94, a native of Co. Down and a nun for 76 years, died April 8 in South Africa. She was a sister of Pat Magorrian of Oak Harbor

Ruth (Buzzard) Finnegan, 86, a native of Everett, died on April 7 in Clifden, Co. Galway where she had lived since the 1980s 

James Nicholas Maylor, 80, the great grandson of pioneers from Ireland who settled Maylor's Point in Oak Harbor, died on Whidbey Island on March 30 OBIT

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha dílse

May their faithful souls rest at God's right hand


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Irish Seattle
A pictorial history of the Irish in Seattle from 1851 to the 1990s
The Celtic Connection
The Celtic Connection Newspaper
The voice of Celts around the Pacific Northwest. Pick up a free copy each month at your local Seattle-area Irish Pub or Restaurant, or read the latest issue online for free!
Irish Books written in the Irish Language
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Kilkenny hurler Eddie Keher tries to teach hurling to Muhammad Ali in Dublin in 1972
Kilkenny hurler Eddie Keher tries to teach hurling to Muhammad Ali in Dublin in 1972
Alex Collins, drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in April, is also an Irish dancer
Alex Collins, an NFL running back drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in April, is also an Irish dancer!
Upcoming Irish Events
in Seattle
JULY 17 - IRISH PICNIC - Seattle's Irish Community Picnic is from Noon-6 pm this Sunday, July 17, at Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah (exit # 15 off I-90). Games and fun for the entire family, and all are welcome. Free hot dogs and hamburgers will be provided but bring your own drink and a dessert to be shared.  There's a covered picnic area and several BBQ grills if you bring charcoal. Hurling game starts at 1 pm followed by games and fun for the entire family - tug-o-war, sack-races, water balloon toss, etc. For details, visit .

July 23 - MUSIC CONCERT - The Cascadia Irish Music Week Teacher's Concert, is Saturday, July 23, 8 pm at Wedgwood Presbyterian Church, 8008 35th Ave NE, Seattle . Performances by some of the world's finest Irish traditional musicians, including Patsy Hanly - flute, Antoin MacGabhann - fiddle , Josephine Marsh - button accordion , Angelina Carberry - tenor banjo, tenor guitar, mandolin, Randal Bays - fiddle and Program Director, James Kelly - fiddle, Norah Rendell - flute, Bridget Fitzgerald - songs, Brian Miller - guitar / bouzouki, Cormac Begley - anglo concertina, and Miray Campbell - tinwhistle . Tickets at

AUGUST 4 - IRISH BASEBALL - Irish Night at the Seattle Mariners is Thursday, August 4, vs. the Boston Red Sox at Seattle's Safeco Field. Watch the Tara Academy Irish Dancers and the Seattle Police Pipes and Drums perform in center field about 30 minutes before the game, while the ceremonial First Pitch will be thrown out by US Congressman Jim McDermott. Reduced price tickets at and they include a free Irish Heritage Night Mariners Cap. But don't delay - already over 1,200 Irish Night tickets have been sold and last year we sold out our allotment of tickets several days in advance.

SEPTEMBER 9 - MOUNT VERNON READING - On Friday, September 9 at 7 pm, t he Littlefield Celtic Center, 1124 Cleveland Ave, Mount Vernon, hosts a reading and book-signing by Tim Egan, the Seattle-based Pulitzer-prize winning author and New York Times columnist - visit or call 360-416-4934 for details . Egan's highly acclaimed book is The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero , about Thomas Francis Meagher who was exiled from Ireland to Tasmania in 1848. After escaping from Tasmania, he came to the US where he led the Irish Brigade in the US Civil War.

SET DANCING - There are new set dancing opportunities for adults in Kirkland and West Seattle! Every 3rd Sunday from 2-4 pm at the Wilde Rover Irish Pub & Restaurant, 111 Central Way, Kirkland with music by The Home Rulers. And it's Free! Then at Kenyon Hall, 7904 35th Ave SW, Seattle, from 7- 9 pm on Wednesdays, July 27, August 31, September 21*, October 26, November 30, December 28. Cost: $5 (except September 21). *On September 21, Puget Sound's CCE branch will host button accordion maestro John Whelan for an autumnal equinox céilifrom 7-10 pm. Suggested donation: $20. Info:

EMMET FELLOW - Each year, Free Legal Advice Centers sends an Irish law student as the Thomas Addis Emmet Fellow to Seattle for two months to get first-hand experience in human rights and public interest cases. The 2016 Thomas Addis Emmet Fellow is Sinéad Davies, a 3rd year law student from Carlow who is studying at Trinity College Dublin. Sinéad arrived in Seattle on July 3 and will spend two months working at the Appleseed Foundation, a non-profit which seeks to achieve social justice through working closely with community advocates. For more information on the fellowship, which is supported by the Irish Heritage Club and the Seattle Galway Association, visit

SEATTLE'S MINISTER - With the formation of a new Irish government in May, Ireland's new Minister for Children and Youth Affairs is Seattleite Katherine Zappone,  a TD (Teachta Dála, member of the Irish Parliament) representing the Dublin South West constituency. Katherine was born in Spokane and grew up in Seattle but has been living in Ireland since 1982. She still has family in Seattle and was back here in 2015 to serve as Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick's Day Parade.

CONGRATULATIONS, NICKY - Each year at the June Commencement Ceremony, Antioch University Seattle recognizes a distinguished alumnus or alumna who have brought distinction to the university by making a significant contribution to their professional field or to the community. This year, Antioch University presented its Distinguished Alumni Award to Irish-Australian Nicola Tannion, partly for her role in organizing  the April 24-25 1916 Easter Rising Centenary Commemoration at Antioch University.

EQUALITY DISCUSSION - An Ireland says 'YES' to Equality Panel Discussion, organized by Irish Network Seattle on June 4, involved "Panti" Bliss, aka Rory O'Neill, the Irish drag queen and gay rights activist . The very well attended panel discussion followed the screening of 'The Queen of Ireland ' at the Seattle International Film Festival. A native of Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo, O'Neill is a figurehead for LGBT rights in Ireland, and one of the world's great drag queens.

IRISH FIDDLES - Fiddles On Fire, a feature length documentary exploring the exploding popularity of traditional music, will include interviews with Seattle fiddler Randal Bays and Irish fiddler James Kelly to be shot during the upcoming Irish Music Week in Olympia from July 18-23. The film follows virtuoso violinists and fiddlers whose excellence in their tradition-based styles has inspired audiences the world over. This project is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts grants. A work in progress film excerpt can be viewed at
Labor Day Weekend
Gaelic Games Finals
in Seattle
The 2016 Finals in the Irish sports of men's and women's Gaelic Football, hurling and camogie are being played this Labor Day weekend in Seattle for the first time ever. Over 100 teams have confirmed their plans to attend and more than 2,000 players from all across the USA, Canada and the Caribbean will compete on five fields at Seattle's Magnuson Park from Friday-Sunday, September 2-4, 2016.
" It's going to be a fantastic experience for everyone" says the Finals Host Committee Chair and Seattle Gaels Chair Brian White. He expressed confidence that the first ever 'Nationals' in the Pacific Northwest will be a success. Brian, who has family from Mayo and Tyrone, says the event coming to Seattle is " indicative of the growth of Gaelic Games" across North America.

If you are willing to volunteer to help out that weekend, please contact

We need volunteers to fill the following roles: Entrance greeters; Ticket checkers; Setup and tear down; Field marking and goal setup; Water stations and ice refills; Information; Field Marshals; Parking lot and bus help; and Misc. errand runners. Ideally folks would volunteer to serve a four-hour shift but whatever help you can provide will be appreciated.

Watch  Seattle Mayor Ed Murray talk about the North American Gaelic Games Finals at Magnuson Park from September 2-4. 
Watch  Seattleite Liam Boyle who captained Antrim in 1969 when they won the All Ireland Under-21 Gaelic Football Championship .
Watch Seattle Gaels Chair Brian White speak about organizing the North American Finals
See more videos at
More information about the 2016 USGAA Finals can be found at
2016-2017 IHC Officers and Board Members
  • David Jacobsen was re-elected President of the Irish Heritage Club and most other officers and board members up for election were also re-elected at the club's recent Annual General Meeting. Newly elected to the Board of Directors was Frank Gill replacing Alex Terzieff.
  • Independent Councillor Noel Larkin was elected Mayor of Seattle's Sister City of Galway on June 10
  • Cascadia Irish Music Week is July 18-23 at Evergreen State College in Olympia. For information, visit
  • The Catholic Northwest magazine conducted a wonderful interview with Co. Monaghan native Rose Boyle at
  • The announcement comes tomorrow if Galway's bid has been approved to become a European Capital of Culture in 2020
  • Seattle's Irish-born 97-year old Fr. Bill Treacy is profiled: Nearing 97, interfaith dialogue pioneer still a 'trailblazer'

IRISH FLAGS - Buy any Irish-themed flag from our Seattle partner, Seattle Flagmakers, and they will make a donation to the Irish Heritage Club to support our activities.

GENEALOGY STAMPEDE - Genealogy website reported a 40% surge in new trial memberships since the UK voted to leave the European Union, with daily searches of the site's Irish records up by 20%. The figures come after a deluge of new applications for Irish passports from eligible UK citizens concerned that freedom of movement in the EU might be restricted after Brexit. At last count, there were 430,000 Irish-born people resident in Britain, and a n estimated six million people who are entitled to claim Irish citizenship.

IRISH PASSPORTS - Since the Brexit vote, there's been a huge increase in the number of Irish passport applications and inquiries about Irish citizenship, even in the US. Anybody born on the island of Ireland, or with a parent or grandparent born on the island of Ireland, is entitled to claim Irish citizenship. Even Northern Ireland's staunchly pro-British lawmaker Ian Paisley Jr. has advised his constituents to apply for an Irish passport to maintain their right to free movement throughout the EU . Paisley's father was the firebrand Protestant preacher who for decades wanted nothing to do with the Irish Republic.

BUSINESS TARGETING - The Wall Street Journal says Ireland is seeking to profit from the UK move by targeting international companies that may want to relocate to what will, after Brexit, be the only English-speaking member of the EU. In the short term, the pound's depreciation against the euro could weaken Ireland's exports to the UK and that could become a long-term problem if the UK economy suffers or if new trade barriers are erected. Over recent years, Ireland's economy has been the fastest-growing in Europe, aided by a jump in exports to the UK and the US.

WHAT'S NEXT? - On June 23, 56% of the people in Northern Ireland voted to stay in the EU. The smallest region in the UK with a population of 1.8 million, Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK to share a land border with the rest of EU, with the  Republic of Ireland  to its south. The 310-mile boundary currently has no passport controls and there are no other visible travel restrictions crossing the border. However, Britain's new Prime Minister, Theresa May, has previously said that if the referendum carried, border controls would have to return across the island of Ireland .

NORTHERN IRELAND - The consequences of Brexit for Northern Ireland could be serious. EU integration has been critical to the peace that has prevailed there since the 1990s. Thanks to the EU, Northern Ireland has enjoyed free commerce and unencumbered travel to the Republic of Ireland. Also thanks to the EU, Northern Ireland has received  billions of pounds  in EU funding, helping it attract tourists, IT, and film production industries (e.g., Game of Thrones).

UNITY REFERENDUM? - The Brexit vote has prompted fresh calls from the Sinn Féin party for a separate referendum on whether Northern Ireland should leave the UK and join with the Republic of Ireland to form an all-Ireland state. Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams writes in the New York Times  " The first and most obvious impact (of Brexit) will be on the North-South border. In the past, this was marked by checkpoints, military bases and customs posts. Today, thanks to the peace agreement, the long stoppages and searches are gone, and the border is almost impossible to discern....The British government should respect the popular vote in the North for EU membership by bringing forward a referendum on Irish unity."

UPSIDE - Credit rating agency Fitch ranks Ireland among the countries most exposed to reduction of exports to Britain from the EU. "Depending on the UK's future trade arrangement with the EU, it might also lead to a reinstatement of a physical border and security posts between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which were dismantled in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. Such a development would impair cross-border relations and trade." However, Fitch also ranked Ireland among the EU member states which also might gain from looser trade arrangements by replacing UK exports in other EU markets.

CREDIT RATING - Credit rating agency Moody's has raised Ireland's sovereign debt rating, citing confidence in the country's ability to further cut its deficit after finally forming a government in May. Moody's raised its key rating for the country's sovereign debt by one notch to A3 from Baa1, adding that the outlook on the long-term rating remains "positive."
Moody's said. "The recent political agreement between the two largest parties in parliament and the recent election of a minority government led by Fine Gael, which has established a strong track record of fiscal management over the past several years, give comfort that the budget deficit will be reduced further in coming years."
Other News from Ireland
LEPRECHAUN ECONOMICS ? - Ireland's GDP, which measures all the goods and services produced in Ireland, grew by 26% in 2015, the huge leap caused probably by companies relocating assets to Ireland from abroad and by activity in the aircraft-leasing sector. Based in Ireland are many aircraft-leasing companies, which often participate in massive multi-million euro international deals.  US economist Paul Krugman referred to the unrealistic GDP figures as "leprechaun economics." One drawback is that the increased GDP metric will necessitate a bigger financial contribution to the EU's budget. Even so, there are indications that the underlying Irish economy grew very strongly during 2015. Personal consumption, which indicates how much 'ordinary' Irish people were spending, rose by 4.5% during 2015. Exports grew by 34.4% between 2014 and 2015 while imports rose by 21.7%.

MOST COMPETITIVE - Ireland has jumped to seventh in the latest World Competitiveness Yearbook rankings, a rise of nine place and its best performance since 2000. The index of 61 countries, compiled by the IMD business school in Lausanne, Switzerland, is acknowledged as one of the most reputable measures of global competitiveness. A survey of some 5,400 business executives is also taken into account as each country's ranking is made based on an analysis of over 340 criteria derived from four principal factors: economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure. Ireland's rise in the rankings was linked to its economic performance, which was ranked 6th out of 61. The US came in at # 3 and the UK at # 19.

TRADING PARTNER - Belgium is now Ireland's largest EU trading partner with $16.05 billion worth of exports to Belgium in 2015, almost $1 billion more than the $15.16 billion worth of goods exported to Britain. The United States, meanwhile, remain Ireland's most lucrative export market, accounting for $28.77 billion of Irish exports in 2015. Medical and pharmaceutical products account for most of the exports to Belgium.

US BONDS - Ireland is the 4th largest holder of US bonds with a $264.3 billion stake. More than 700 US companies are domiciled in Ireland, employing 140,000 people, according to the American Chamber of Commerce. And of the $1.62 trillion held by global funds administered in Ireland, $337 billion is in government bonds including Treasuries.

BIDEN VISIT - US vice-president  Joe Biden says his visit to Ireland last month meant a great deal to him personally, coming a year after he lost his son and given how the values of his Irish ancestors "have shaped my soul" . The Vice-President was in Ireland on a four-day visit that took him to Dublin, Louth and Mayo. It was his longest visit to a single country during his two terms in office. His ancestors left the Cooley peninsula in 1850, with Biden growing up in a large Irish-American family in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

DIASPORA MINISTER - Donegal Fine Gael TD Joe McHugh has recently been appointed Minister for the Diaspora and Overseas Aid. McHugh has previously lived outside Ireland and helped establish the first GAA club in the United Arab Emirates. The Minister has been invited to attend the North American GAA Finals in Seattle on September 2-4.

DIASPORA SENATOR - Billy Lawless, the Galway-born restaurateur now based in Chicago, is a new member of the Irish senate, the upper house of the Irish legislature, named by Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny. It is the first time an emigrant senator has been named making Lawless Ireland's first "diaspora" senator . Besides being a successful restaurateur, Lawless is also a tireless advocate for Irish immigrants in the US, and has said that one of his key issues he will be voting rights for Irish citizens living abroad.

IMMIGRATION RULING - The Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers based in Boston has expressed its disappointment with the US Supreme Court's recent 4-4 ruling blocking implementation of President Obama's 2014 administrative relief programs for immigration. "Non-action by SCOTUS leaves millions of undocumented people in the US, many Irish among them, living with uncertainty and fear." The Coalition serves as a national umbrella organization representing Irish immigration and community centers throughout the US and includes Seattle Irish Immigrant Support as a member.

IRISH VOTERS - A referendum will be held in 2017 in Ireland to decide whether to give Irish citizens living abroad a right to vote in the next Irish Presidential election which is scheduled for 2018. Irish people who have emigrated abroad are currently not allowed to vote in Dáil (Parliament) or presidential elections or in any referendum that takes place in Ireland. Sinn Féin claims that any referendum for the right to vote for people living outside of Ireland must include people in Northern Ireland.

GLORIOUS TWELFTH - The annual Twelfth of July marches and other celebrations in Northern Ireland commemorate the victory of the Protestant King William of Orange over Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland in 1690. This year one Twelfth bonfire is being blamed for a fire that destroyed two homes in Belfast although "two of the most contentious loyalist parades in Ireland passed off without incident amid calls for dialogue to take place to bring to an end decades of inter communal strife in Belfast."

BLACK LIVES MATTER - Black Lives Matter demonstrations were held in three cities across Ireland this past week following the murders of five US police officers in Dallas and the two recent shootings of black men by US law enforcement. Several hundred attended the rallies in Dublin, Cork and Galway that were organized by the Anti-Racism Network Ireland, the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland and other similar groupings who claim that institutional prejudice also exists in Ireland.

ABORTION LAW - The UN's human rights committee has called on the Irish government to reform its abortion legislation, ruling that current Irish law subjects women to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Since 1983, the Irish constitution has placed the "right to life of the unborn" on an equal footing with the right to life of the pregnant woman, which means that abortion is allowed only when there is a risk to the life of a pregnant woman.

NI POLITICS - Almost two decades after the end of the Troubles, Northern Ireland's power-sharing Executive has a significant opposition. For the first time since the Good Friday peace agreement was signed in 1998, the smaller nationalist and unionist parties, the Social Democratic and Labour Party and the Ulster Unionists, as well as the cross-community Alliance, did not accept ministerial seats when the parliament reconvened following elections in May. They are instead focusing their energies on opposing the parties participating in government, the DUP and Sinn Féin .

1916 RESOLUTION - The US House of Representatives has adopted a resolution recognizing "the deep and abiding friendship between the United States and Ireland." The resolution was part of a series of events marking the centenary of the Easter Rising, and the bi-partisan motion was carried by unanimous consent. It describes the events of 1916 as "a seminal moment in Ireland's journey to independence."

PAPAL VISIT - Pope Francis may visit Ireland in 2018 to attend the Catholic Church's World Meeting of Families in Dublin. It would be the first papal visit to Ireland since Pope St John Paul II in 1979. It will not be Francis's first visit, however, as he spent three months in Dublin in 1980 when, aged 43, he studied at the Jesuit-run Milltown Institute. The Irish bishops hope Francis will complete the Irish tour John Paul II began in 1979 by this time visiting Northern Ireland. In 1979, the Vatican called off the Northern Ireland leg for security reasons.

CLIMATE WHAT? - Donald Trump says he doesn't believe the science of climate change, calling global warming "a total hoax," "a con job" and "pseudoscience," but he still wants to protect his Irish golf course from the effects of global warming . His company in Ireland recently submitted a permit application to build a sea wall to protect the Trump-owned Doonbeg Golf Course in Co. Clare, with the application explicitly citing as a chief justification for building the wall " the predictions of an increase in sea level rise as a result of global warming ." Trump purchased Doonbeg in 2014 for $16.8 million but the course is at serious risk of storm damage and coastal erosion . So far the company's application for the development has been denied by the Irish Planning Board.

DANGEROUS RACIST - Ireland's Taoiseach Enda Kenny described comments made by US Presidential candidate Donald Trump about immigration and the Middle East as "racist and dangerous." Kenny was being questioned in the Dáil (Parliament) about the Irish government's intentions if Trump were elected US president. He said the decision of who would be the next president of the US is a "matter for the American people", adding: "The world will have to deal with their decision."

SOCCER AWARD - An Irish soccer fan accepted an award in Paris last week on behalf of the 100,000 Irish fans who traveled to the just-concluded European Soccer championships. The award, the 'Médaille de la Ville de Paris', was presented by the mayor of Paris to recognize the exemplary behavior of the Green Army, Ireland's soccer fans, during the Irish team's run in the tournament. The Paris Mayor referred to the great atmosphere the Irish fans generated as they followed their team to an eventual 2-1 defeat to tournament hosts France. They were described as being "a credit to their country" who generated a party atmosphere full of endearing moments, including videos of one group who stopped to help an elderly couple change a tire and  others who sang a lullaby  to a baby on a train.

THE BOSS - Bruce Springsteen recently called into his favorite Dublin pub, the Long Hall on Great George's Street, much to the delight of pint-sipping fans. Springsteen was enjoying the comedown after his concert at Dublin's Croke Park. The Boss is also known to sometimes visit O'Donoghue's on Baggot Street when he's in Dublin.

400th ANNIVERSARY - 2016 is the quatercentenary of the death Hugh O'Neill, the Irish Gaelic lord and Earl of Tyrone who was later created The Ó Néill. He is best known for leading the resistance against English authority in Ireland during the Nine Years' War from 1594 to 1603. Hoping to enlist military support from Spain, O'Neill sailed from Donegal's Lough Swilly on September 14, 1607, an event now called The Flight of the Earls. While still plotting a return to Ireland, O'Neill died at Rome on July 20, 1616. In death he was praised as "a powerful, mighty lord, endowed with wisdom, subtlety and profundity of mind and intellect; a warlike, valorous, predatory, enterprising lord ...; a pious and charitable lord, mild and gentle with his friends, fierce and stern towards his enemies..."

BEST PUBS - Seán's Bar, a pub in Athlone in the center of Ireland, has been named by Lonely Planet among world's 50 best bars. Described as "the oldest drinking hole in Ireland, and possibly the world (the jury's out),"  Lonely Planet was impressed by the 'Est. 900 AD' plaque on the wall. In 2010, a Lonely Planet competition also named the Harbour Bar in Bray as the best bar on the planet. In recent months, Lonely Planet named Dublin one of its Top 10 cities to visit in 2016, while it tipped Ireland as a Top 10 country to visit.

POPULAR BAR - Sheridan's Bar at Shannon Airport - named for the man who in the 1940s invented Irish Coffee - is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with sales in 2015 hitting $2.43 million. The bar has been frequented by famous patrons such as Marlon Brando, Maureen O'Hara, Robert de Niro, Tom Hanks and Fred Astaire along with Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. It is also often the last pub enjoyed by the hundreds of thousands of US troops on stopovers before continuing their journey to and from warzones.

BEST RESORT - 800-year-old Ashford Castle in Co. Mayo has been named by Travel and Leisure magazine readers the best resort and inn in the UK or Ireland. Home to the Guinness family for over 100 years, the five-star property and its 350 acre estate offers a number of outdoor activities, as well as Ireland's first falconry school. It features 83 guestrooms, a nine-hole golf course and three bars. The grounds of the castle, as well as nearby Cong, formed the backdrop for much of the action in the 1951 film, The Quiet Man .

BOG BUTTER - A turf cutter at a bog in Co. Meath recently came across a 22-pound chunk of butter, that researchers at the Cavan Museum estimate to be more than 2,000 years old. Bog butter is made from cow's milk. Although after thousands of years in a bog it often has the consistency of cheese, usually it can still be eaten. It is a common find for turf cutters in Ireland as the bogs, which are essentially cold-water swamps, do a fine job of keeping food fresh. A University of Michigan researcher recently found that meat left in a bog for two years was just as preserved as meat kept in his freezer.
AN FÓRSA LEAT! - After shooting the Star Wars film in various locations around Ireland, including in  Donegal Kerry , and Crookhaven in West Cork, Lucasfilm took out an ad in the Irish Examiner to sing the praises of West Cork. " We have been captivated by the landscape of the Wild Atlantic Way, it has provided a spectacular backdrop for our story. The tireless commitment of our Irish crew, the enthusiasm and support of all the people in West Cork have made our Irish adventure one we will always treasure. Go mbeidh an fórsa leat! (May the force be with you!)."

CLARE CONNECTION - The late Muhammad Ali visited Ireland twice in recent years. He took part in the opening ceremony of the  Special Olympics in Dublin in 2003, and he visited the birthplace of his great grandfather, Abe Grady, in Ennis in 2009, where he was made an Honorary Freeman of the town. His great-grandfather left Ireland for Kentucky shortly after the US Civil War.

VEN. JOHN SULLIVAN - Pope Francis has authenticated a miracle attributed to Irish Jesuit priest Fr. John Sullivan whom he had declared 'Venerable' in 2014. According to the Fr. John Sullivan website , a number of 'miracle cures' happened to people with whom he prayed, "including the dramatic healing of Michael Collins, nephew of Irish Rebel leader Michael Collins." John Sullivan was born in 1861 in the heart of old Georgian Dublin where his father, Edward, was the future Lord Chancellor of Ireland. Raised a Protestant, Sullivan became a Catholic in 1896 and joined the Jesuits i1902. He died in Dublin in 1933.

DELAYED JUSTICE - 76-year-old Jack McCullough , a native of Belfast, was arrested in Seattle in 2012 and wrongly convicted in Illinois of the 1957 murder of a 7-year-old. Given a life sentence in Illinois, he spent four years in prison before a prosecutor this past March declared there was "clear and convincing evidence" that McCullough was wrongly found guilty.

LOUGHINISLAND MASSACRE - Northern Ireland's Police Ombudsman was damning in his recent report on the police role in the 1994 Ulster Volunteer Force massacre in Loughinisland, Co Down, when six pub patrons were murdered and another five wounded. The ombudsman says the murder squad had been involved in a number of other killings in the years beforehand, but had avoided arrest because the Royal Ulster Constabulary's (Northern Ireland's Police Force) had withheld evidence from detectives investigating the crimes. The Ombudsman said he had "no hesitation in saying collusion was a significant feature of the Loughinisland murders."

EAMON De VALERA - The Washington Times featured a positive review of the book, " Eamon de Valera: A Will to Power " by Ronan Fanning, a professor emeritus of Modern History at University College Dublin. Describing the book as a balanced assessment, the review says, "This biography makes a strong and ultimately convincing case forde Valera as the indispensable founding father of the sovereign Irish Republic we know today."

FIRST BROADCAST - A morse code transmission by the rebels during the Easter Rising on April 24, 1916 from the General Post Office in Dublin is considered to be first radio broadcast in Ireland . The rebels had taken over the Wireless School of Telegraphy, which was located just 190 meters from the GPO at 10-11 Sackville Street (now O'Connell Street). From there, they sent out the transmission: Irish Republic declared in Dublin today. Irish troops have captured city and are in full possession. Enemy cannot move in city. The whole country rising. The broadcast was the brainchild of Joseph Mary Plunkett, who wanted to bypass British censorship and get the message of the rising out over the airwaves .

1916 IRISH-AUSTRALIANS - In October 1916, fearing that the Irish in Australia would take over and install a hostile government, the British Governor-General of Australia cabled London warning that "rebel Irish and syndicalists" could come to power - and that would be "disastrous to imperial unity." The cable was sent after a referendum on conscription in Australia was lost. The British reaction to the Easter Rising is frequently cited as a factor in the hostility of Irish-Australians who then constituted a quarter of the population of the country. 

HA'PENNY BICENTENARY - Dublin's Ha'penny Bridge has turned 200. The first pedestrian bridge to cross the Liffey , it has been used by Dubliners since 1816, and still looks pretty much the same as it did when it was built in Georgian Dublin. When the bridge was built it replaced a ferry that had been used to get the city's residents from one side of the river to the other. The builder was granted the right for 100 years to extract a halfpenny toll from anyone crossing it. Nowadays about  30,000 people cross it every day.

- Lonely Planet has named the restrooms at
The Gougane Barra National Forest Park, near Ballingeary, West Cork, as being among the top 100 toilets in the world. The thatched-roof toilets are situated near the hotel in the park.

O'HARA DEATH - Hollywood star Maureen O'Hara's daughter Bronwyn Fitzsimons has died at the family's Cork home just a year after her mother passed away. She was the daughter of O'Hara (who passed away in October last year at the age of 95) and American film director William Houston Price. Bronwyn, 71, has a son Conor Beau Fitzsimons who lives in Idaho.

OLDER THAN IRELAND - Older Than Ireland  is a landmark documentary that tells the story of a hundred years of a life as seen through the eyes of thirty Irish centenarians, exploring each centenarian's journey, from their birth at the dawn of Irish independence to their life as a centenarian in modern day Ireland.

OPEN HOUSES - Throughout Ireland, 219 homes, gardens and historic buildings qualify for tax relief in exchange for renovations and maintenance their owners carry out on the properties. In return, the owners are required to make their properties accessible to the public at certain times of the year for a total of 60 or more days annually. See a list of those buildings and gardens with websites, admission costs (OAP = Seniors), etc., at
GALWAY RENTAL - Fully furnished townhouse for rent in Galway City, Ireland, located in Lower Salthill just 400 yards from the Seapoint Promenade on Galway Bay. 3 furnished bedrooms, sleeps six. Available for $425 per week (plus an additional 10% reduction for IHC members). See details at, or contact Mike or Sheila at
  • Irish Ambassador Anne Anderson recently spoke to the Ancient Order of Hibernians/Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians at their annual convention in New Jersey
  • A recent poll showed that, if a referendum were held today, only 9% of Irish people would vote to leave the EU
  • Forbes recently wrote: "Fun fact, Ireland is now America's largest foreign investor"
  • Amazon is to create 500 jobs in Dublin in the next 2 years as it seeks to expand its European workforce
  • writes about Dublin's Fair City... Where The Startups Are So Pretty
  • Ireland's unemployment rate fell below 8% in April for the first time since the financial crisis in 2008
  • The British Irish Chamber of Commerce said that after Brexit it would be campaigning for the continuation of the long-standing common travel area between Britain and Ireland as well as a quick trade deal between the UK and EU
  • The European Commission says that 32% of small and medium sized Irish firms sell online, compared to an EU average of 26%
  •, the New York-based news and entertainment website, has been bought by a consortium in a deal worth about $3 million
  • Just 65% of Irish households have fixed broadband connections
  • Last year's Ladies All Ireland Gaelic Football Final attracted an attendance of 31,083, the largest attendance at a European female sporting event in 2015
  • Politico magazine asked "Want to make an Irish government official smile? Ask about Vice President Joe Biden's arrival in the Emerald Isle tomorrow. Want to make them squirm? Ask them about the possibility that Donald Trump may crash the party"
  • Vice-President Joe Biden in Ireland: "Every time I'd walk out the door my father would say: 'remember Joe, the best drop of blood in you is Irish'."
  • The Irish have the highest usage of cellphones in Europe per capita
  • Luxury travel network Virtuoso lists Ireland as among its 10 hottest destinations
  • 10 things to do in Belfast before you die. 
  • In 1946, it was a Soviet veto that initially kept Ireland out of the U.N. despite British and US support
  • Blasket Island photos
  • Delve into a world of intrigue, magic and mystery in Kilkenny city
  • Despite lasting only five days, the 1916 Easter Rising garnered more than 50 articles in The New York Times, which kept the story on its front page for more than two weeks
  • Following the recent killings in Orlando, as a mark of respect the Irish flag was flown at half mast at Government Buildings and Leinster House in Dublin
  • On the 100th anniversary of the publication of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • In 1916 and after, sentiment in the US in favor of the Irish Republic swept over this country so strongly that it was felt in every city and town in the nation
  • Ireland's first President, Douglas Hyde said, "The Gaelic League was founded not upon hate of England, but upon love of Ireland."
  • Ireland's hidden gem: Lough Derg
  • Of the 100,000 Irish who sailed to Canada in 1847, the worst year of the Irish Famine, 20,000 died of typhus or other diseases, either on board ship or at the Grosse Île quarantine station.
  • The New York Times writes about An Irish-German-Chinese Perspective on Brexit 
  • The Wall Street Journal has a feature on Oscar Wilde: "the provocative Irish playwright is springing back to life this year in a series of plays, movies and books"
  • The Washington Post says that Irish politics are especially unusual

Irish Heritage Club Membership

We invite you to maintain or renew your membership in the Irish Heritage Club. 2016 Members remain in good standing with the organization until March 31, 2017. Membership is used to support all IHC activities throughout the year, including the St. Patrick's Day Parade, the Irish Festival, and this newsletter, and is open to anyone interested in "Things Irish". Dues are $20 (single membership), $30 (family membership), or $100 (business membership), and you can pay by cash, check, or Credit Card. For more information, email  or visit .
Seanfhocal - 

Má tú ag lorg cara gan locht,
béidh tú gan cara go deo
If you are looking for a friend without a fault,  
you will be without a friend forever

John Keane